Saturday, June 23, 2012

Connecticut Irish Festival

It's a great day for the Connecticut Irish! - In fact, all weekend!  

2017 Saturday and Sunday, June 24th and 25th at the North Haven Fairgrounds.

Note this review was from 2012:
(2012) Saturday and Sunday, June 23rd and 24th at the North Haven Fairgrounds!

Today was a beautiful day to take a ride up I-91 to North Haven to attend the 50th Annual Connecticut Irish Festival being held on the North Haven fairgrounds.   The festival began as a "Field Day" back in 1963 and featured Irish music, a hurling match, a football game, tug of war, and field races.  The event is based on the old hurley/hurling (football) games that began between Irish factory workers in Connecticut in the late 1800s and moved into its more traditional venue to include Irish music and dancing and become a cultural event to bring the Connecticut Irish together to socialize.  Now, the Connecticut Irish Festival includes all the traditional events of yesteryear, along with a feis, a term used for a Gaelic arts and cultural festival, but now more commonly used to describe an Irish dance competition.

We arrived shortly after 11am and were greeted by long-time friend Annie Hinds who is an active volunteer in many Connecticut Irish organizations.  This year Annie was helping out with parking, whose $2.00 donation goes towards all the Irish athletic events.

Give a little extra to the parking attendants this year if you are able to - as this group benefits so many fine youth organizations which is always a great donation.

After paying the $12.00 admission fee (per person, children under 16 are FREE!  - making for a great family day!) we entered the field and field grounds in time to see the race participants.  Many of the participants are sponsoring worthwhile charities, here's a picture of the team for DMS - Project Purple!

When many of the exhibitions were still setting up, we visited with some of the organizations that were represented, talking about genealogy, the history of the fair, and members of the Ancient Order of the Hibernian Society.

There were even two Alpacas from Hunter Hill Farms and a live demonstration of spinning Alpaca wool!  Amazing!  The little Alpacas were beyond cute!

There's plenty of Irish merchandise!

 Look at the picture below of all the adorable offerings from Faith and Begorra, out of New Jersey, who, by the way, have the BEST BUSINESS CARDS, as they offer a recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream Pie on the back.  So clever! (It's also available on their website, select tea recipe and you can find it!

We stopped to see a little of the soccer game

There's plenty of food to be had, burgers and hot dogs, and OF COURSE the Corned Beef Sandwich!  We had stopped for breakfast so didn't have room for any.  (sad face!) 

BUT we did stop for some ice cream from the Carvel truck!

There's so much more, with all the traditional fair food and my all-time favorite fried dough pizza!  We actually saw one and it was the biggest we've ever seen!  HUGE!

Moonbounce for the little ones...

We were able to hear some great music!  Under the Main Tent was Kitchen Party, also out of Canada featuring traditional Irish music.
and here's a short video:  

and under the Cieli Tent were the Narrowbacks out of New York. 
and another short video

Sunday features the traditional feis and my wonderful sister-in-law Kathy was there to cheer on her granddaughter Eilee Rose, who took three first places!  Eilee competes representing the O'Keefe School of Irish Dance out of Hamden, CT.  That's Eilee in the bright pink.  

Whenever I spend time with Eilee and her brothers and sisters I am amazed at the confidence, good manners,  and poise they all have.  Must be that good Irish heritage!

Thank you to Kathy for sharing her pictures with me!

We had a great time at the Connecticut Irish Festival and can't wait to go back next year!  A great big thank you to all the volunteers, vendors, musicians, and dancers who make this great event possible!

Visit the Irish Festival and tell them Home Place sent you!

Where do you go to hear some great Irish music?
Have you been to the Connecticut Irish Festival?


  1. Wow sounds it was a lot of fun. I have a feeling my neighbors went to this as their daughters do Irish Step Dancing. I think next year I am going to visit this one. I Know there was one in Fairfield last week. Did you go to that one?

  2. Hi Kate! No I didn't even know about the Fairfield one! Wish I had! ...I'll have to be on the lookout for it next year!


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